Saturday, January 07, 2012

Four resolutions for speakers

I don't know about you, but I don't really make New Year resolutions. They only seem to last a few weeks, or even days. However, I do a few things at the start of each year with regard to my speaking that seem to work and pay dividends, so let me share them with you now. You may find them helpful too.

1) Note what worked well last year. You will know what worked in your speeches from the audience reaction, both during and afterwards. I hope you made notes. if not, sit down and recall what those elements were. They may have been stories, case studies, or simply a line or move on stage. If it works, keep doing it.

2) Review the content of speeches. I change at least a third of the content of my speeches every year. Stories go out of date, new ones appear, and the attitudes of audiences change too. Using the opposite of the above (what didn't work last year), you should note those moments of confusion and glazed eyes in your audience. That content has to be changed or dumped.

3) Look at new research. You need to stay current in your topic. That means reading research, talking to colleagues and making sure you know what is happening globally. Google alerts make it easy to do. If you're not using them already, you should be.

4) Look at new markets. I'm looking east this year (from where I'm sitting that is). That means visiting countries like China to meet people and do more research. There are also new industries to consider. Look at where your expertise would be most valued and most in demand, and then go there.

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